Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Safeguarding your hearing is similar to eating the right way. It sounds smart, but not many of us have a good concept of where to start. This is particularly true if you don’t think your daily environment is very noisy and there aren’t any apparent risks to your ears. But daily life can stress your ears and your senses, so your auditory acuity can be preserved if you practice these tips.

If you want to keep enjoying the sounds around you, you should do everything you can to impede down the impairment of your hearing.

Tip 1: Hearing Protection You Can Wear

The most simple and practical way that you can safeguard your hearing is to protect your ears. This means that reducing loud and dangerous sound is a basic step you need to take.

For most people, this will mean utilizing hearing protection when it’s called for. Two general forms of protection are available:

  • Ear Muffs, which are placed over the ears.
  • Ear Plugs, which are put in the ear canal.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each type has its advantages. What’s significant is that you get some hearing protection that you feel comfortable with.

Tip 2: When Sound Becomes Harmful, be Aware of It

But how can you tell when to use hearing protection? We’re used to connecting dangerous noise with painful noise. But much lower volumes of sound can injure your ears than you might believe. The sounds of traffic, for instance, are loud enough to start damaging your hearing after only a couple of hours. An important step in protecting your hearing, then, is recognizing when sound becomes dangerous.

The following threshold is when sound becomes harmful:

  • 85 decibels (dB): After about two hours this level of sound is hazardous.This is the level of sound you’d expect from a busy city street or your hairdryer.
  • 95-100 dB: This is the typical level of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. This level of sound becomes damaging after 15-20 minutes.
  • Over 100 dB: Your ears can be very quickly injured by this. Damage is done in about thirty seconds with sounds above this threshold. As an example, jet engines and rock concerts will injure your ears in 30 seconds.

Tip 3: Use Your Phone as a Sound Meter

Now that we have a general understanding of what levels of noise could be harmful, we can take some precautions to ensure we minimize our exposure. The trick is that, once you’re out in the real world, it can be hard to gauge what’s too loud and what isn’t.

That’s where your smartphone can become a handy little tool. There are dozens of apps for iPhone, Android, and everything in between that turn your device’s microphone into a sound meter.

In order to get an understanding of what harmful levels of noise actually sound like, use your sound meter to confirm the decibel level of everything you are hearing.

Tip 4: Be Mindful of Your Volume Buttons

A smartphone with earbuds is normally the way people listen to music these days. Your hearing is put in danger with this combination. Your hearing can be significantly harmed if you set your earbuds to high over a long period of time.

That’s why safeguarding your ears means keeping a focused eye on your volume management. You should not raise the volume in order to drown out sounds elsewhere. And we suggest using apps or configurations to ensure that your volume never accidentally become dangerously high.

If your hearing begins to decline, earbuds can become a negative feedback loop; you could find yourself consistently raising the volume of your earbuds in order to compensate for your faltering hearing, and in the process doing more harm to your hearing.

Tip 5: Have Your Hearing Tested

You might think of a hearing exam as something you get when your hearing has already begun to decline. Without a standard to compare results to, it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your ears.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a great way to generate data that can be used for both treatment and diagnostic purposes, ensuring that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) choices have some added context and information.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

It would be perfect if you could always protect your ears without any issues. But challenges are always going to be there. So protect your ears when you can, as often as you can. Also, get routine hearing examinations. Put these suggestions into practice to improve your chances.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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